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Abilify no better than placebo for bipolar? (article)


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A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that aripiprazole (Abilify) offered no benefit over placebo in treating biploar depression. Well, at least that's what the results showed, but the discussion section told a bit of a different story. At the end of eight weeks, Abilify failed to beat placebo on either the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale or the Clinical Global Impressions -- Bipolar Severity of Illness Scale.

via Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look

Huh.

what do you guys think?

Any of you on abilify for bipolar and think it does help and this study is cracked?

The study is about bipolar depression, not bipolar... so it may be silly to be making a big deal over this study as most people use abilify for mania in bipolar (right?).

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I wasn't aware anyone was pushing APs for depression (alone)?

I haven't run across any studies for that, not that that means much.

Looking at the PI sheet, Abilify was studied as an adjunct with paroxetine, venlafaxine, fluoxetine, escitalopram, and sertraline. From *that* group of meds it was determined that differential response was not observed based on choice of antidepressant. Hopefully the physician will remember to reduce the dose by half when coadministered with fluoxetine ... or Wellbutrin or Cymbalta, which were omitted from the testing that got it approval.

The impression I get is that:

- It won't do much by itself for depression without a long-acting SSRI in your system (NOT a good choice for many bipolar patients)

- If noradrenaline is key to your depression, forget it. Placebo should work better and with fewer side effects.

- If low dopamine/dopamine dysregulation is part of your brain cooties, it will screw you up worse. Luckily, most people would drop it as the EPS set in.

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